Over 100 years of history: Marker placed to recognize Family Services Association’s work in community
Published 3:22 pm Monday, October 16, 2017
The sun shone brightly as a group of community members and leaders gathered outside the Family Services Association building on South Third Street Friday afternoon for the unveiling of a historical marker denoting the agency’s creation and existence for more than 100 years.
“These markers start with an idea from the community,” said Andrew Patrick with the Kentucky Historical Society, who was on hand for the unveiling.
Patrick, a Centre College graduate, was recognized by Milton Scarborough, president of the board of directors for the Family Services Association of Boyle County, who had helped with getting the sign placed and has written a history of the agency.
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The Family Services Association of Boyle County was founded June 1, 1916, as the Community Work Board, by “various churches, fraternal and other organizations,” from Centre College and groups in the community.
“They believed society could be reformed if social work was scientific in nature,” Scarborough said.
That meant the Community Work Board would help people, but it went beyond that — the agency would investigate, “why did this happen?” through a series of interviews and home visits. Then, it would set about to help the individuals, offering classes, “so it will not happen again.”
In Scarborough’s book “A Century of Compassion at Community House,” he writes that at one time the agency was housed above what is now Bluegrass Pizza and Pub. In 1921, a house on Maple Avenue was purchased, which was later shared with the American Red Cross and then the Civil Works Administration.
Eventually, the Farmers National Bank worked out a deal with the Community Work Board to build a new structure on Third Street if they would turn over the house to the bank. It was then demolished and is now part of the bank’s drive through area.
During that time, it also become known as the Family Welfare Association. In 1970, the agency became the Family Services Association, as it is known today. Its goal, as Scarborough writes in his book, is to “continue to give priority to its primary and historic mission, namely, providing short-term, emergency assistance to residents of Danville and Boyle County, but also to increase its commitment to education, namely, through classes in budgeting and money management.”
It remains a private agency.
Scarborough said the Community Work Board, when founded, also established a new public leadership role for women, as the director of the agency. This was different, as women had not been allowed to hold such a position before.
“There are no rules that it has to be a woman,” he said to the crowd, but explained that it has only been held by women, as he motioned to the four living directors of the agency — Janie Pass, Jeannine Sharp, Victoria Scarborough, and current Director Crystal McPherson.
Scarborough also recognized the 12 individuals who had written letters of support for getting a sign — a requirement, he said, to be considered for a historical marker.
“Thank you for the time you put into those things,” Scarborough said. He plans to save the letters. “In 100 years, when they’re celebrating the 200 anniversary, they can look at those and read some of the things you wrote.”
The idea for a sign began with Jim Rankin, former president of the board, who had the honor of removing the “Kentucky Historical Society” covering from the marker.
SO YOU KNOW
The Family Services Association of Boyle County, located at 447 S. Third St., provides short-term financial assistance to those experiencing a temporary financial emergency. It also assists clients in identifying other programs and services that can contribute to their financial stability on a long term basis. To find out about client eligibility, call (859) 236-3868, or find them on Facebook.